The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University is one of the leading medieval studies programs in the world. Students that matriculate here are academically extremely diversified. All academic disciplines are welcomed to apply here and, in fact, many people do not even take history classes before enrolling. The primary mission of the Institute is to foster discussion and learning through an interdisciplinary program. As a result of diversity and the discussion it facilitates, students who graduate from here are well versed in socioeconomic s, romance languages, Anglo-Saxon and Nordic languages, history, literature, medicine, occult practices, music and religion. The only stipulation for many discussions and classes is that it has to be based in something 'medieval' or have origins in the vague time period of 500BCE to 1500AD.
I fit firmly in the academic diversity of this institution because I have multiple interests. I specialize in two areas: socioeconomic development in Cornwall in the Middle Ages and William Shakespeare's use of medieval stories,myths, and songs in his plays. Socioeconomic development in Cornwall stems from my interest in the area after visiting my family there and my natural proclivities towards economic acumen. My interest in Shakespeare is almost accidental. I spent many years as an undergraduate at Albion College taking classes from a well known Shakespearean scholar. He imparted a love of Shakespeare to me that I have continued since. When I arrived here I was surprised to see that several Shakespeare classes were offered and that they could count toward my degree. I took one class and was hooked on the idea that many of the most famous Renaissance writers used medieval stories and fables liberally as the basis for their own works but modern popular audiences assume that the Renaissance writers made them out of thin air.
I love writing on this subject, and have, in fact, won awards based on some of my essays.